Day 22&23: Oxford

I need to stop skipping days, yet I sort of can’t help it…? Not so much spontaneity now that I’ve been rapidly transporting myself between cities… Not even towns, for goodness sake, for they all have cathedrals!

I know fens are predominantly in East Anglia, but with swamps like this… Am I seeing them just outside of Oxford?

This, folks, is my first impression of Oxford: a quiet, tranquil town-like city, with loads of rivers, streams (burns!), and bridges. I fell in love with this area just as I walked from the train station to my host’s.

Then came the first sign of industrialization… I have no problem with boats/keels/whatever-you-call-its, but the smell of burnt diesel… Urgh!

Not sure if it’s a south (almost-London) thing, or an Oxford thing, but the buildings here look a lot different and newer than anything I’ve seen so far…

Got to my host’s safely, and then came back to this tiny area for a nice – albeit diesel-filled – walk. Keep in mind that these canals and streams are almost right beside the railways, so no wonder…

And naturally, my host was impressed by my comments of “not going to town” 😉

One of the bridges I’ve walked past earlier… It looks much better with the split from the other side!

Another opportunity for you folks to know how ignorant I really is! I had no idea that the River Thames ran through Oxford until I saw it on the map, and here it is, looking not much bigger than the canal/stream!

And of course, being wet as Oxford, the River Thames is accompanied by its own stream/canal thingy… I wonder if the algae is out of control though…

And again we see swans and Canada geese! Also heard them “sing” – howl, more like…

This looks so much like a swamp, and by association, a fen… But my host in Cornwall told me that it’s just agricultural pasture. “[F]en would have to be like that in the summer too”, saith he, “It might have been fen before the farmer drained, levelled and grazed it.”

So, I guess I’m not ticking the box just yet. Does it mean I need to go to Chatteris some random weekend?

Another canal… Towards the end of the walk. It was a wet day, but just drizzles, though I kept thinking how many times things would be better with sun… But I guess gloominess is embedded in any and all British landscape?

VERY faraway looks for the Christ Church and other buildings marks my second and last day here… I do want to take come close-ups for them, but they tend to be too big to fit in my camera… It is times like this that I want a drone XD

Boldlian library… I’m not sure whether these signs are from a few centuries ago, as they really look like modern remakes… But here we have “school of grammar and history”, and “school of moral philosophy”

No, I don’t speak Latin.

Oh, and no wonder people spoke 5, 7 different languages back then…

Nothing special about a rich bloke’s chest… Nowt at all! But you can tell exactly how rich he was if the inside of his chest had such artistic design…

I didn’t get the chance to see the real library, but this is all too familiar…

“Babbling bumbling band of baboons”, and you get the rest…

And they say it’s gothic too. Should I study architecture, as I have no idea how this is different from other buildings?

The New College… I wonder how new it is, 500 years old, maybe? Quite new, indeed…

Anyways, I failed to find the tree under which Draco was turned into a ferret… No matter, no matter…

“Don’t you dare, laddie!”

Well, I have to say that the Great Hall was a bit of a disappointment… And the ticket was six quids, too! It felt like many of the things I wanted to find is being over-commercialized and exploited for profit… Not coming back again, I assure you!

Oh, the Entrance Hall proved much better (read as familiar) in picture

My “tour” ended with the cathedral part of the church, and it turned out the least disappointing part… At least they have Away In A Manger in display…

This day in Oxford flipped my impression on the city… There’s just so many restrictions, and the city itself feels well-structured to the point of repressive. I’d rather be up north, possibly north of the Wall, and run wild… The dry, yellowish weed on top of the Wall look so much more alive than the verdant, well-kept lawn here!

Not sure about you, but walking in this part of Oxford doesn’t feel so different than walking in Verona… How am I to know? Go and watch yourself Romeo and Juliet, petal!

And finally, joke time!

As I’d walked over and under the railways, I think these would be suitable tributes… And I apologize for the saturation of weirdo nerdy contents in this post…

“Over bridges, under bridges, to our destinations,

Careful with that spliff Eugene it causes condensation”

And this…

“The light at the end of the tunnel is the light of an oncoming train”

I know, they’re awesome, right? 😉

I’d been seeing “Cornish pasties” all over the place – inside and outside Cornwall, and it was only today that it clicked… They’re the Chengdu/Shaxian Snacks (成都/沙县小吃) of England! Am I right or am I right?

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